By Yasmijn Jarram

The paintings of Bas Zoontjens are explorations into fantastic supernatural landscapes. They show authentic, architectural constructions that seem to hang in mid-air. Some are depicted in bright strokes of paint, while others require an effort on the part of on-lookers to see something in the dark contours. While the colourful work bears witness to a simple painting technique, the images are mysterious and complex. Organic and geometric forms battle with one another. Is that a spaceship we see making a landing, an inter-galactic war, or a giant creature that is crawling out from deep within the earth? Who or what is attacking, or being attacked?

Space is not only vast but also undefinable in many of Zoontjens’ paintings – despite the fact that they often depict a horizon. Onlookers are transported to another universe or a different reality, in which one’s own everyday experiences suddenly seem unreal and inappropriate. Although Zoontjens does not portray humans, the paintings do seem to tell stories about the human race, which is (just as in science fiction films) engaged in a never-ending battle against the downfall of the world and their own species.